questionable words & pictures from John Linton Roberson.

John L. Roberson

John L. Roberson
Berkeley, California, USA
January 22
Bottomless Studio
John Linton Roberson is an illustrator, cartoonist and writer, living in Berkeley, California. His new graphic novel is the first volume of his version of Frank Wedekind's LULU, Book 1 now available at Amazon.com, Comixology & Createspace. He is also the creator of VLADRUSHKA, SUZY SPREADWELL, and numerous other works in words and pictures since 1989. Find out more at jlroberson.org. Follow him on Twitter, too! @jlr_1969

MARCH 15, 2011 9:52PM

When the Wind Blows (1986) Complete + Barefoot Gen Hiroshima scene

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A bit of a nuclear theme, as you might expect from me even under normal circumstances. I have to say, this is one of those times I wish I hadn't not only spent so much time studying the subject along with the Cold War itself, but also seeing enough of the lies told about radioactivity and such things in the past that I can't believe any reassurance I hear now.

Though get a grip, all you who are buying up iodine. Even if the radioactive steam had been injected into the upper atmosphere(it hasn't--it was at Chernobyl) it would still be too dilute by the time it got here to matter. If we're not threatened here in the northwest, you don't have much to worry about. Oh, and the iodine will only protect you--and not much--from uptake of radioactive iodine into the thyroid. That's only one way radiation can kill you.

But here are a couple of things that crossed my mind. The first is this famous scene of the devastation of Hiroshima from BAREFOOT GEN by Kenji Nazawa, and he was there; he was Gen, and this is what he saw. This is something no other work of animation could show you. And it's heartrending, be warned. Within one minute before you break down, guaranteed. (I am not normally an anime fan, as you may know. GEN is one of my huge exceptions) The camera stays with the victims, and normally in a cartoon that's a signal that person will be okay. It doesn't mean that here. Each death is given its full moment, each individual you've been led to know and care about is given that dignity, if you can call it that. No faceless victims here. But you wish, almost, they were. Click here.

The second is the famous 1986 animated version(complete) of Raymond Briggs' WHEN THE WIND BLOWS, Melinda Gebbie having been on the animation team for this(it's how she ended up in England, and met & married Alan Moore). Click here for whole film.

Some perspective of a sort.

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